Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $454,493)
Sojourner Center will enhance its capacity to serve domestic violence victims and their pets by expanding housing and supportive services and referrals for victims with pets and increasing the levels of training to improve the community’s response to the co-occurrence of domestic violence and pet abuse.
Primary activities include:
• Expanding shelter and supportive services for domestic violence victims and their pets so families can heal together.
• Training for staff and community members to enhance capacity in Maricopa County to assist victims and their pets and provide referrals.
Deliverables include increased number of victims’ pets served and increased knowledge among service providers of the connection between domestic violence and animal abuse to improve the community’s response when faced with those who may be experiencing this crisis.
Sojourner Center will use funds to serve domestic violence victims and their pets in Maricopa County regardless of sex, age, race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, or religion. They will generally have extreme low incomes for a family of one or more or meet the federal poverty levels. Comprehensive services will be tailored to meet victims’ and pets’ needs and focus on increasing their safety and self-sufficiency including case management, safety planning, childcare, lay legal advocacy, workforce development, community referrals, and pet shelter.
Grant funds will support the salary and ERE of the Pet Companion Shelter Coordinator position and three animal care technicians contracted through Lost Our Home Pet Rescue. Funds will also support pet-related expenses through the PAWSiblities Barrier Reduction Fund that includes transportation, medical care, and supplies; costs associated with refurbishing two shelter suites (four bedrooms) to create victim-pet co-living arrangements; and training for stakeholders to strengthen the community’s responses to the needs of victims and their pets.
Sojourner Center has been providing voluntary trauma-informed services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking in Maricopa County since 1977. In FY20 (October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020), it provided 25,796 nights of emergency shelter and 21,893 night of transitional housing to more than 1,000 victims and served 76 pets, including emergency service and emotional support animals. We provide these services at no cost to victims.